MORPETH is celebrating the life of one of its most famous residents — and there is an open invitation to join in.
Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison died after she was hit by the King’s horse during a protest at the 1913 Epsom Derby. She was brought back to her home in Northumberland and was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard.
Now 100 years on, the Emily Inspires initiative has organised three days of events to commemorate the campaigner.
The project team, including representatives from Northumberland County Council, Morpeth Town Council, the Greater Morpeth Development Trust and local groups, has planned a varied programme, culminating in a parade along the route of Emily’s funeral procession a century ago and a church service.
Working Group Chairman Andrew Tebbutt said: “The interest created in Emily Wilding Davison nationally and internationally around the centennial of her death has been amazing and truly rewarding for those of us who have believed Emily’s true story for many years.
“On Saturday, Morpeth will commemorate 100 years to the day when Emily’s body was laid to rest in St Mary’s Churchyard.
“In Morpeth, a very committed band of people has worked extremely hard to deliver a centennial weekend and commemorative activity befitting of Emily’s memory. I hope that lots of people will join us in supporting the Emily Inspires programme this weekend.”
Timetable of events
Thursday, June 13
Morpeth Town Hall, 7.30pm
A Song for Emily concert by Werca’s Folk and Star and Shadow. Winners of the young people’s section in the Emily Inspires creative writing competition will be announced.
Tickets £8, £7 conc, from Morpeth Chantry and Morpeth Town Hall.
Friday, June 14
Riverside Leisure Centre, 7.30pm
Premiere of To Freedom’s Cause, a play about Emily by Kate Willoughby. Musical contributions will be provided by a Northumbrian Piper and Standing Stones and the winners of the Northumberland section of the creative writing competition will be announced.
Tickets £8, £6 conc, from Morpeth Chantry and Morpeth Town Hall.
Saturday, June 15
Chantry Middle School, 9.15am
Women gather for transport to Longhorsley for the Bikes and Bonnets cycle ride.
Morpeth Town Hall, 10am to 4.30pm
Emily exhibition, including the scarf she is believed to have been carrying when she was fatally injured at the Derby. At 11.30am there will be a lecture by Barbara Gorna, owner of the scarf.
Market Place, 11am
Concert by Werca’s Folk.
Sanderson Arcade, 11am
Concert by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The band will then play in the Market Place from 11.45am.
High Stanners, Noon
Procession of Bikes and Bonnets cyclists into Morpeth.
Deuchar Park, 12.30pm
Sunshine Panners steel band kick-off a Suffragette rally and picnic. Games will be organised by Beamish Museum.
Morpeth Town Hall,1pm
Lecture by Sheila Hanlon on the importance of cycling to Suffragettes.
Morpeth Clock Tower, 1.30pm
Celebratory peel of bells.
Morpeth Railway Station, 2pm
Procession to St Mary’s Church following the route of Emily’s funeral cortege. Spectators are invited to line the route.
St Mary’s Church, 2.45pm
Service with speakers including Emily’s relative Geoffrey Davison, Associate Editor of the Sunday Times Eleanor Mills and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird. Space is restricted, but the service will be relayed outside.
Procession to Emily’s grave where flowers will be laid.
Riverside Leisure Centre, 7.30pm
To Freedom’s Cause and presentations to national winners of the creative writing competition.